KRA will soon have eyes on your manufacturing plant

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The taxman wants to leapfrog from sending in tax offices to remotely observing production plants under new enhancement to track and trace products from production to sale.

KRA said that sending resident inspection officers proved a challenge since the manufacturers could use their involvement in the process as a defense or could alter the goods between the time a report is made and inspection is conducted.

That is when they turned to technology. Over the past couple of years, Kenya Revenue Authority has implemented a raft of radical moves to increase tax collection, eliminate illicit trade and carry out enforcement on the spot.

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This led to product line monitoring which imposed paper stamps on cigarettes, direct labeling on beer and paper stamping for cosmetic which was incorporated into manufacturers systems and the information sent to KRA.

Developed and implemented by SICPA, the track and trace solution allows stakeholders to verify the authenticity of the marked products and indicate to KRA that the required excise tax has been paid.

KRA now wants to increase enforcement officers to 300 and arm them with handheld iPad devices with a single view of all data relating to the taxpayer including, Personal Identification Number, import data, profitability, and sales.

It also plans to install cameras at clients premises connected to a central location which can be used to monitor activities at the manufacturers plant instead of relying on reports from the field.

The introduction of EGMS has led to enhanced tax compliance, the netting of illegitimate products with KRA reporting a 40 percent increase in excise revenue since inception.

It was meant to be extended to water and other soft drinks but the move has been stonewalled by litigation.

The tax man made the revelation at the 8th edition of the Tax Stamp Forum where security printing firms are hoping to clinch deals in the continent.

KRA is hosting a three- day meeting, with Reconnaissance which is being held on the African continent for the first time and brings together delegates including government excise and customs agencies, investigators and law enforcement and regulators.

Cigarette and liquor manufacturers and distributors, security printers, supply chain specialists and integrators, suppliers of authentication and serialization technologies are also in attendance.

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